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Crystasany Turner

Assistant Professor

  • Ph.D. in Urban Education, Curriculum and Instruction, University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee
  • M.S. in Cultural Foundations of Education, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • B.A. in Bachelor of Arts, Drawing and Painting with Honors, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Area of Expertise


Early childhood education, teacher education, culturally responsive and sustaining pedagogy (CRP and CSP), multicultural education for social justice, Black feminist epistemologies, trauma-informed practices


Childcare administration and supervision, best practices for children and families in early childhood programs, operations management in early childhood programs, family and community relations, infant and toddler care and education
Professional Highlights

Significant Continuing Education

  • The Discussion Project with UW-Madison (2021)
  • UW-Milwaukee School of Education and ACCESS Grant: Beyond Diversity Professional Development (2019)
  • Wisconsin Training and Technical Assistance Professional (T-TAP) Master Trainer (2017)

Community Engagement

  • 2013-2015 Volunteer Interpreter for CORE/El Centro, Milwaukee, WI
  • 2013-2015 Volunteer for Empowering Latino Parents, Milwaukee, WI
  • 2009-2010 Bilingual Volunteer at United Community Center, Milwaukee, WI
  • 2007-2008 President of UW-Waukesha African American Union

Professional Affiliations

American Educational Research Association
National Association for the Education of Young Children
Wisconsin Early Childhood Association
Sigma Delta Pi National Hispanic Honors Society since 2010
Pi Lambda Theta since 2018


Recent Publications


  • Turner, C.R. & Allen K.R. (In Review). “She’s a friend of my mind”: A reflection of Black sisterhood in academia. Race Ethnicity and Education.
  • Turner, C.R., Pasternak, D.L., Allen, K.R., Lize, K. & Evans, L.M. (In Review). “There’s a lot of stumbling forward”: The impact of whiteness on teacher educators’ reconceptualization of culturally-based English education curriculum. Harvard Educational Review.
  • Turner, C.R. (March/April 2021). Setting vision and practice standards in a multicultural childcare through transformational leadership: One program’s journey to national accreditation. Exchange Press.
  • Evans, L.M., Turner, C.R., & Allen, K.R. (2020). “Good teachers” with “good intentions”: Misappropriations of culturally responsive pedagogy. Journal of Urban Learning, Teaching, and Research. DOI:10.51830/jultr.3
  • Pasternak, D., Evans, L, Turner, C.R., Allen, K.R., Knapp, J., Harris, A., Wu, X., Bartlett, M., Habeck, T., Worm, J., Taylor, K., & Nix, T. (2020). “The Sociohistorical Evolution of the Language of Culturally-Based Pedagogy and its Impact on Teacher Education”. Urban Education.

Book Chapters

  • Turner, C.R. (In Press). Black family childcare providers’ roles as community mothers during the COVID-19 pandemic. In J. Pattnaik & M. R. Jalongo (Eds.), Impact of Covid-19 on the field of ECCE. Springer.

Recent Presentations

National and International Conferences

  • Evans, L.M. & Turner, C.R. (2021, Sept 29- Oct 1). Smokescreens and white saviors: Examining misappropriations of culturally responsiveness in student assessments [Paper presentation]. Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment (CREA) Conference (Virtual)
  • Turner, C.R. (2021, May 19-22). Endarkened Feminist Narrative: An Exploration of Black Women Family Childcare Providers’ Cultural Knowledge [Paper presentation]. International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry (ICQI) Conference (Virtual)
  • Turner, C.R., Evans, L., Allen, K.R., Malloy, A. (2021, May 19-22). The Racialized Context of Professional Development Focused on Culturally Responsive Pedagogy [Paper presentation]. International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry (ICQI) Conference, Virtual
  • See more recent presentations

Local and Regional Conferences

  • Turner, M. and Turner C.R. (2020, May). Terminating gracefully and legally [Conference session]. Wisconsin Child Care Administration Association (WCCAA) Conference, Appleton, WI, United States. (Accepted for presentation but conference cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic)
  • Turner, M. and Turner C.R. (2020, March). Terminating gracefully and legally [Conference session]. University of Wisconsin-Platteville Early Childhood Education Conference, Platteville, WI, United States. (Accepted for presentation but conference cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic)
  • Turner, C.R. (2019, July). Guiding early educators in trauma informed practice [Conference session]. Wisconsin Child Care Administrators Association, Waukesha, WI, United States.
  • See more recent presentations

As a third-generation early childhood educator, Crystasany R. Turner, PhD served over a decade as a preschool teacher and administrator in her family’s childcare business—now a nationally accredited early care and education program. Her philosophy and classroom practice are rooted in the pedagogy of care that was demonstrated her by her grandmother. In her years serving as a language and arts educator within Milwaukee’s K-12 classrooms and arts non-profits, she aimed to honor students’ various ways of expression, while fostering an appreciation for cultural and linguistic pluralism.

As a researcher on a $5 million grant, which focused on the professional development of experienced teachers in culturally responsive pedagogy, Dr. Turner measured school culture around diversity, equity, and inclusion. She also led an initiative to reconceptualize the curriculum of UW-Milwaukee’s Urban Education program to integrate culturally based, anti-racist practices throughout their coursework.

She has also authored numerous articles and book chapters that interrogate imbalanced social power, institutional inequities, and systemic oppression affecting diverse children and families. Dr. Turner is especially committed to illuminating the narratives of Black women and other marginalized groups who care for children while standing at the intersection of race, gender, and various social locations.

Now, Dr. Turner’s passion for serving diverse children and families through equity-based, culturally sustaining pedagogies is a driving force for her work as an Assistant Professor at Erikson. Students in her classes can expect readings and other content by diverse authors, hands-on activities, and critical reflections on how one’s own cultural standpoint impacts teaching and learning. Her goal is to develop reflective practitioners and critical scholars who question taken-for-granted social constructs and work to dismantle overarching structures of racial, class-based, and gendered oppressions.